Well what is the difference? We went shopping for a few grocery items, it was about 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening. There were two lines open attended by human beings, one was 15 items or less, and four self-service lanes.
Now people, this is not nuclear physics here, I am a big fan of getting in and out of a place. I utilize the self-service machines as often as possible. They are generally efficient and lack attitude. However, I do believe the idea behind them is supposed to be speed and efficiency. What was the manager of this store thinking when he set-up a schedule that allowed him to close the only other lane in the store capable of handling customers with 16 items or more? I think most of us can hold our own with a couple of items to check out and bag, but when the numbers increase the time does too. Here is the scenario; you have one lane that can take care of any sized order, one lane that takes care of small orders and four machines that will help customers delay other customers and make the shopping experience a dreaded event. That makes sense? Do self service machines give the humans an excuse not to be of service?
Workers complain about cut hours, yet in a situation like this rarely do you see the checker step back, make eye contact, or do anything that resembles customer service. How many times have you encountered an employee, made an inquiry, and actually got what you needed or at the very least you felt like they were truly trying to help you. I found myself feeling the need to explain to an individual who was supposed to be providing me with service.
I do not want to become one of those people with a “perpetual chip-on- my-shoulder. Always aware of the wrongs others are guilty of but not of my own. Perhaps that is why I did bother saying something to the young woman whose line I “invaded”. I felt justified, yet if someone with 15 items or less said something to me, what would my response be? The truth is I wanted to get my order taken care of a fast as possible so I could go about my business. I could have gone to customer service, asked for the manager and lodged my complaint. In turn he ( I know the manager) would have apologized, corrected the situation or both. At any rate it would have taken longer to do that than to just go to the line and get checked out.
Entitlement comes to use in a variety of disguises, but eventually it will reveal itself. Although I felt justified in what I did, I was still in the wrong line. We expect customer service and when we don’t get it we become a bit out of line. I had three choices and I did none of them. I have to tell you if someone would have come up behind me and said,” What’s going on here; this is the 15 item or less line, can’t you read?” I would have been embarrassed and probably angry. Who knows what that would have led to.
The right thing to do would not have solved my problem immediately, but it may have had a better long term effect. I suppose if I walk into that store again and the same conditions exist, I will have to accept some responsibility for things being that way. Furthermore, what will I do this time?